Monday Musings with Maureen

Ideas, Tips, and Reflections from Garrett County Maryland

It’s Monday, friends! The start of a new work week and the start of a new blog series here at JFP! Introducing…Monday Musings with Maureen! While I plan to officially and formally introduce my JFP bride-turned friend Maureen in a future post, I didn’t want to keep her first musings from you all for too long. Maureen is a talented writer with a big heart, creative ideas and a go-getter attitude. She recently planned her Deep Creek Lake wedding (I photographed and vlogged it 🙂 ) and loves being a part of our local Garrett County community. I know she is going to add so much wealth to this blog and provide so much helpful and entertaining information to you all, so here we go…our first Monday Musings with Maureen! I hope you just love it! And her. 🙂

Here’s Maureen on her wedding day (looking beautiful!) so you can put a face with a name. We have plans for Musings headshots in the future.

deep creek lake wedding photographer

The following was written by Maureen several days before today. She is not currently sitting in her kitchen nor is it currently snowing. 

Monday’s weather forecast is partly cloudy and 55 degrees, but as I sit here today in my kitchen writing snow is falling quietly outside. It’s coming in those big chunks, the kind that linger in your hair and make any chore on the To Do list seem preposterous.

Looking down at my husband’s slippers, (which I’m wearing because they were more accessible, obviously), I can’t help but think how magical this county feels with a fresh blanket of snow. When Jessica recently started posting throwbacks to earlier winter sessions, as well as recent impromptu winter adventure portraits, I was immediately struck by the charm in all of them… but also how cold they all must be! Winter is a beautiful time to take family photos or engagement sessions, but there are definitely some more variables to consider than on a warm spring or summer day!

This week I caught up with my friend Jill who recently did a beautiful portrait session with her family and had a huge surprise waiting for her! Her fiance Justin popped the question mid-session and they have some gorgeous photos that captured every moment.

Here is our interview.

Maureen: Did you know the portrait session was happening, even if the engagement was a surprise?

Jill: I had no idea! I always told Justin I wanted the moment captured – mainly because I knew I would black-out and not remember it! (This happened by the way…)

deep creek lake proposal

Maureen: Looking back now do you have any thoughts on prepping for a winter session, like layering or hand warmers to keep your body from freezing?

Jill: I was under the impression that we were taking a few family (iPhone) photos for our belated holiday card so I brought a couple different winter accessories … just to be safe, and also because I can never make up my mind! It was super cold, but when you’re in the moment like we were, it wasn’t an issue. Jessica took the weather into consideration and discussed each pose with us beforehand (inside a warm home) so we could breeze thru them outside!

Maureen: Was there any significance to getting engaged at Deep Creek? Or was it more about the timing of the New Year’s holiday?

Jill: Deep Creek is where Justin & I took our first solo mini-vacation together! We have since shared countless summer & winter weekends there with our families and friends. It has become an extremely special place for both of us because it fits our personalities: laid-back, but always ready for a good time.

Maureen: What did you all do to celebrate after? Did you hit up any favorite Deep Creek spots?

Jill: We met all of our friends who were up there celebrating New Year’s with us at Greene Turtle. They cheered when we walked in and strangers at the bar began offering up drinks, kind words and advice. It was nice to get out of the house after being cooped up for a couple days too!

Maureen: Any advice for couples looking to do a session this time of year?

Jill: My only advice for those considering a winter portrait session at Deep Creek is: DO IT! Bring a variety of accessories and layers so you can gauge how cold you are once you actually start taking photos. Plus it’s fun to change things up a little bit depending on the photo. All these things aside, the natural backdrop is too beautiful in both color and black & white to pass it up!

I’m grateful to Jill for taking some time to answer these questions for us! My engagement session with Tom was in August and I think we were sweating the whole time! And thank you, Jill, for also summing up this place so perfectly. “Laid back, but always ready for a good time” will be how I forever refer to Deep Creek Lake from now on!

These winter sessions remind me to embrace the Tundra of Maryland! One of my personal New Year’s resolutions has been to slow down and try to enjoy whatever Mother Nature brings us. Whether that’s taking an afternoon off to enjoy a powder day on the slopes, getting out with your family to go sledding, a hike in the woods or snowy portraits with your loved ones. Or maybe just taking a moment to curl up on the couch under a blanket and stare at the falling snowflakes. Part of the beauty of winter is that when it snows, everyone has the best view.

Thanks a million for sharing, Maureen! I love that the winter portraits have been inspiring you, along with all that comes with the #TundraofMaryland that we call “home.” 😉 

Musings will occur on the first Monday of every month, so be sure to check back in February for Maureen’s second post. (It’s gonna be all about Valentine’s Day!) In the meantime, catch more of Jill and Justin’s proposal here!

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